tv The Dylan Ratigan Show MSNBC July 22, 2011 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT
threats, the new deal president obama and speaker boehner are working on reportedly includes $3 trillion in cuts, but only a promise of tax reform matched with triggers to punish each party if congress doesn't follow through. dems will lose a key component of health care reform, the individual mandate. the gop has the bush tax cuts at stake. the president "today show"ing his true feelings about the constant white house meetings on debt. take a listen. >> there's nothing i enjoy more than sitting hour after hour day after day debating the fine points of the federal budget with members of congress. >> a little presidential irony. meantime two other options are doa, the house cut, cap and balance act. it was pretty senseless. they won't take up the mcconnell fallback plan because harry reid wants to see what comes out of
the white house. mike viqueira is live outside the white house where he says the heat feels like you're standing on the surface of the sun. what's the latest from there? >> reporter: i'll tell you, it's hard to say who is more upset, democrats with the president for putting entitlements on the table. apparently there was a phone call to democrats as they were meeting yesterday that really set people off that was a genesis of a lot of premature reports about a deal in the offing or are republicans more angry with speaker boehner and any notion that taxes will be included in this. anything that's going to raise revenue, if you think about it, the tear party is already sore enough that there's probably going to be a vote to raise the debt ceiling, talking about 30 or 40 members who won't be voting on anything at all. that brings us to the next point, the chemistry, the alchemy to pass something. you go too far towards entitlements and tax cuts and you'll lose democrats and
republicans. another thing on the table here, is if some of these tax provisions, the overhaul of the tax code which would include some closing of loopholes and raising corporate tax rates in certain areas while lowering them in others is something that's going to be done on a kiss and a promise, do it on the legislative side by a date certain. that's also not good enough for democrats. they want to know what those enforcement mechanisms are. we saw a lot of public pronouncements. not a lot of fresh ground was plowed by the president or john boehner today. boehner letting off steam because the senate didn't pass the cut, cap and balance bill you were talking about. into the weekend, behind-the-chooens maneuvering going on. we don't know exactly what's going on. we do know the house and senate won't be in session. >> mike viqueira at the white house. if this heat wave keeps up you'll be doing the dance of the seven veils. it's not going to be a family show anymore. thanks as always. democratic senator ron widen
serves on the budget and finance committees. welcome, senator. >> good to be on your show. >> help us make sense of this. lots of moving parts, the politics and policy of this are very thick. where do you think we are at this hour? are you optimistic? pessimistic? why? >> it's got to be done. the country is relying on a real solution, cannot allow this default and the catastrophic consequences it would bring. here is the bottom line. right now the negotiations are in what i call the roller coaster stage, specific proposal, picks up support, goes up to the top of the roller coaster and gets criticized and plummets back down. i will tell you the approach i think can bring bipartisan support is to recognize that the best way to cut the deficit is to put people back to work in the private sector. when we do that, then we're going to bring in more revenue. we won't be spending so much on
unemployment and food stamps. the next guest is going to be bill bradley. he's pursuing, as he has in the past, a by bart san approach. i'm picking up on some of his ideas with senator dan coats for tax reform that produced 6.3 million jobs the last time we did it. we ought to do it again. >> talk about the political molecule as you see it. as mike was saying from the white house, the leadership -- seems like the president and boehner at least are trying to work in good faith to try to craft something that can get through the house. if you go too far on the tax revenue side, you lose the tea party republicans. if you lean too heavy on the entitlements, you really risk losing some on the left. what's the right way to think about how to thread the needle? >> the right way is to focus on approaches that generate revenue that both political parties can support. tax reform will do that. right now we're spending a boatload of money on
unemployment, food stamps. more than ten million folks unemployed. let's put them to work in the private sector with growth-oriented tax reforms. we've seen it work in the past, and i will tell you the only solutions right now are going to have to be bipartisan one. cut, cap and balance, however you feel about it, it didn't touch on the jobs issue at all, and it wasn't bipartisan. the issues that we're focused on are going to require bipartisan support. i've been working with the gang of six. i don't agree with all of the specifics, but that kind of bipartisanship is what it's going to take. >> on the gang of six idea in particular, and i've looked at this. i'm an old budget wonk from the clinton white house budget office. it's kind of a blue print, but a lot of details left to be done. in some ways it's almost emblematic that our current political institutions don't work.
it sets up lots of instructions from a bipartisan group to committees that says raise this much in revenue, cut here. if you don't do it, there's this fail-safe mechanism where a bipartisan group of five senators from each party can come forward. is the way this is structured proof that the senate as an institution broken? >> it certainly has been distressing to see all this polarization. but when dan coats and i have come together on tax reform. dick durbin and tom coburn come together on the gang of six, one of the most liberal, one of the most conservative, we can get results here if we put the country's interest first. let me give you another idea, you made mention of the question of whether tax reform was actually doable. one of the ideas i'd like to see pursued is if there wasn't bipartisan tax reform within a date certain, what you could do as an enforcement mechanism is just go in there and give all
those tax breaks, all those tax expenditures a haircut. you say, look, the best way to actually produce some more revenue is bipartisan tax reform. if you don't produce it by a date certain, we're going to go in there and get a haircut to all those tax expenditures. there's a trillion dollars worth of them. that's a way to generate some revenue. >> i think if there's not some kind of serious enforcement mechanism in the way you're describing, i think people are right to be skeptical -- >> skeptical of washington? i can't possibly believe somebody might see it that way. >> exactly. i can see a scenario where the debt ceiling gets raised, champagne corks popping over some version of what you described. six months or a year from now, nothing to hold folks' feet to the fire to mean we actually get the specifics that were talked about. >> i think the gang of six has one enforcement process. i just suggested another one on your show. the bottom line is to recognize,
as senator reid has said, you've got to have some balance here. that means everything has to be part of the equation. just say it's going to be one part of the budget. but what was missing in cut, cap and balance is it never mentioned jobs. never mentioned jobs once. by the way, when democrats and bill bradley keyed up to generate that growth-oriented tax package, they didn't need a constitutional amendment to do it. ronald reagan and bill bradley did it because it was right for the country. dan coats and i have trying to do the same sort of thing. that's what it's going to take to get this country back on track. >> i gather, senator, everybody is taking the week and off. >> not me. i'm going to be right here at my post, matt. we're going to be talking about ways to bring some bipartisanship around tax reform and other approaches to bring the deficit down. i'm not going anywhere. >> kudos to you. here is a question, we have about a minute left. for folks watching this, it's
such a roller coaster as you said. as we move in to next week, we're getting down to crunch time. you have the debt ratings, the debt agencies saying they're really threatening a potential downgrade even if -- which seems crazy, even if the debt ceilings is raised they're talking about a downgrade which seems a little out of line giving that they were not exactly on the case during the subprime housing mess. putting that aside, how should average americans, our viewers right now, make sense as we go into next week of whether there's really going to be progress toward washington getting its act together to do what has to be done? >> i think they should watch first to see if there is real support on both the democratic and the republican side of the aisle. if there's not, if you've got folks in the tea party and the most progressive wing of the democratic party just going at each other, it's not going to happen. what we've got to do is see by early next week a balanced approach. i think the reason i've focused on tax reform, it's a way, first
of all, to put our people back to work. it's a way to generate revenue that both sides can support and we won't be spending so much on unemployment and food stamps. >> senator ron wyden, a sensible voice pulling both parties together, pressing for tax reform. i applaud you, sir and hope next week you can keep doing this good work as we get toward the end game. >> thank you, matt. coming up, small change for big change. how a group of tech savvy americans is using social media and $5.00 to change the world. also ahead, what's more dangerous? checking in for your flight or checking into the hospital? the answer up ahead. forget the tea party or the independents, mitt romney needs to go after the couch potatoes. we'll explain why when the dr show comes right back. only one calcium supplement does that in one daily dose. new citracal slow release... continuously releases calcium plus d for the efficient absorption my body needs.
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when paul lin was given the center square, impressionable children homesick from school watched him or converted and, boom, ever since it's been gay, gay, gay, gay, gay. >> that was stephen colbert's take on the controversial law in california to add gay history in textbooks. this weekend same-sex marriage becomes legal in new york. today another step for gay rights activists. the associated press reporting that president obama certified the repeal of don't ask don't tell. after 18 years, the process has certainly rounded third. we may not be at home plate just yet. there's still 60 days before the ban on openly gay service
members can be officially lifted, but we're on the way. time to bring in democratic strt gist crystal ball, reuters energy at large chris yeah free land and the nation's ari melba. i want to put up, we have a list of countries around the world that have had gays serving openly in the military for years, countries including australia, canada, czech republic, finland, france, germany, ireland, israel, italy, lithuania, lux 'em berg, it's really from a to u. we don't have zimbabwe in there. chrystia, let me start with you. is this a good day for america in this sense? >> i think it's a great day. this has been a pretty bad year for a lot of people. it's been a bad year for the u.s. economy. it's been a bad year for people
who are unemployed. but one point of light is, i think this is a year that america has taken a real step forward in terms of treating gay people like fully-fledged citizens. >> crystal, i have a friend whose line was the best on this. for us, if it's enough to die -- if you're willing to die, that's enough. and it seems that way. why shouldn't that be the way -- >> that's exactly right. we have dismissed 14,000 gay and lesbian service members since 1993. it's unbelievable. we have to keep our eyes on what the next fight is going to be and i think repeal of the defense of marriage act has to be repealed. if you're in the military and in a committed relationship, that relationship is not recognized. you don't get base housing, health care, not the same spousal benefits that straight couples get. that's really the next part of this find. >> ari, you've written on this for years and had a great piece.
i'm going to quote you before we actually hear from you. >> a little me before me. >> where you said the military has been stretched thin across the board. the entire u.s. military continues to turn away qualified translators and intelligence officers who might prevent a an attack. why? the personnel are gay. you said they kicked out 58 arabic lingists. >> that's right. translation of arabic and other languages of interest were a big issue, but they were actually firing people who were doing that translating, that critical work because they were gay. i think if you look at the discrimination against gay people in american life, this is not the number one issue, right? what this has been and the reason it's so important and so many voices i think of note rachel maddow of msnbc have shined a light here is because it shows just how clearly gay
americans were treated as second class citizens. during that same period we've been talking about u and krystal talked ability the 14,000 booted, the military age was raced to 42 of people they would take to start and started taking convicted felons. i think there are security reasons, but we won't let gay people serve because of what they do in their private lives. we have bigger fights ahead. >> even though, just a last word on this quickly is even though the military resisted this, my sense of folks i know in the military is once the orders come through that you will do this, just like with integration, 50 years ago after harry truman insisted on it, it will happen. there will be the execution machine -- in the best way of executing. this will become something that will seem archaic that we didn't actually do this. i want to turn to another very interesting issue in the news today.
there was a survey -- a study done by some -- by the world health organization that showed that, and get this, this is a new fact which is that it is more dangerous to go to a hospital in the united states than it is to board an airplane. if you look at the risk statistics, and we've got some of the facts up there. does this reenforce what you already thought or is this shocking and new, krystal? >> like you said, it's not even close which i don't think is terribly shocking when you think about the fact that hospital errors result in more deaths than just about anything. it's the fifth leading cause of death in america. so this is a really important issue. one piece that i do want to pull out and pat ourselves a little bit on the back, the u.s. fared relatively well among developed nations in this particular
measure, but there are a lot of common sense things we can do to make sure that we're continuing to improve. >> you know what i think is the bigger truth behind this? the bigger truth is don't go to hospitals so much. the whole u.s. health care system is upside down. there is far too much emphasis on treatment and far too little treatment on prevention. that's part of the reason that health care costs are so high. so what i would say about this fact, speaking as a canadian is americans have to stop being so addicted to being treated, and so addicted to medical intervention. it's bad for your health and it costs a lot of money. >> i want to tea it up with the singapore view. jim rogers, famous guy, he lives in singapore. >> is that the measure of fame? >> he was famous and became even more famous. he has an american wife. he and his wife have a pact if
they're traveling the united states and the other falls ill, the other must fly them back to singapore because of these statistics, the odds of being hurt or infeked in a u.s. hospital is huge. >> matt, you have a singapore crush. >> you are -- you have observed me closely. >> i don't know if the viewers know this. if i can do a public service, you've written about the singapore financial regulation approach, much higher paid regulators, so they don't have a resolving door with wall street. i smell something a little fishy here. >> all singapore all the time. you're right. we'll move off of singapore and go to our next hot issue which is the couch potato. there is a new study -- it's amazing sometimes that academics study this. two political scientists at m.i.t. that shows that people who actually get most of their information for television is incredibly skewed toward the
more attractive candidate and they're 5% more likely to focus on the more good looking. >> we have a candidate. >> a candidate who didn't win last time. does that mean there aren't enough couch potatoes. >> what does that say about me? i do want to point out that i think the true couch potatoes don't bother to show up and vote. those are the real couch potatoes. >> you need a big "get out the couch potato vote." >> maybe lure them with potato chips at the voting place. i don't think it's a surprise to anyone that a lot of voters are judging based on their sort of gut instinct. i am bizarre in that i don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. human beings are bad at taking in data, at dealing with numbers and agating it all. they're good at the gut instinct, do i trust this person? are they honest? that's a little positive spin. >> chrystia, in history you had
jfk and nixon in the famous debates. people who saw it thought jfk was cool and hand some and looking toward the future. this is a part of the way we think. >> it's not a new result. i'm going to disagree with krystal. i think it's sort of too bad, the rise of the bimbo politicians. it's happening at the same time we're seeing the rise of the geeks in business. maybe what's going to happen is we're going to have the beautiful people run politics and the ugly nerds make all the money. >> i would really take issue with that, if i may. the bimbo politics i take issue with. hold on, hold on. >> mitt romney is one of the bimbos here. >> typically not applied to men. >> you can have male bimbos, also. it's the beautiful people. >> i do want to say that women, it's like they can't win. if you're hillary clinton, you wear the pant suit -- >> krystal, i wasn't saying
anything about gender. you have seen it all. >> if i say this is a cat fight, that would be a gender bias thing. i shouldn't go there. >> we'll settle it in a mud wrestling match after the show. >> let me ask you this -- >> i hope it's not about that. can i back away from the table while staying on tv. >> a male corner here. winston churchill, william howard taft, people who might not be elected today at the modern media age where you have slews of voters. >> it's trite to quote martial mclewin, ever since the kennedy-nixon debate, we've had tv politics. it's also tv is a different medium that has shrunk down the sound bite, showing it's gone from 45 seconds down to about seven seconds on average in presidential campaigns. >> hate to cut you off right there -- i'm kidding.
finish that thought, but briefly. >> what's scary about it is the issues are more complicated than ever. try to balance the budget in a seven-second sound bite. >> good looking people saying less. here we are, the mega panel will be staying put and continue with you in a second can debt doomsday approaching, neither side looks like it will budge. we'll ask someone who has been the room during past debt debate, former senator bill bradley, our specialist after the break. boy, i'm glad we got aflac huh. aflac! oh, i've just got major medical... major medical. ...but it helps pay the doctors. pays the doctors, boyyy! [ quack ] oh yeah? what about your family? ♪ we added aflac, so we get cash! it's like our safety net... ♪ to help with the mortgage or whatever we need! so my family doesn't feel the pain too. ha! [ male announcer ] help protect your family at aflac.com.
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boehner could kick the can down the road on tax reform. joining our panel, former democratic senator bill bradley of new jersey who sponsored the 1986 tax reform. welcome, great to have you with us. >> good to be with you, matt. >> you've been there in situations like this that are going down to the wire. what's the right way for folks to think about where we are and what's going to happen? >> big decisions are rarely made until the last minute in the congress, and that's where we are now. we're heading toward the last minute. the question is will we do something very simple, extend the debt limit or will we do something very big which is get a big deficit reduction package, compose the spending cuts and tax increases. those are our two choices. what's your gut tell you at this point? >> we tear going to avoid default. i really don't know which of those it will be. i know president obama has all the cards. i any the next week, if we begin telling people what would happen if the debt limit wasn't
extended, such as no flights in america. all traffic controllers couldn't be paid. all the families planning their vacation to national parks, forget it. they'll all be closed. go right down the list to make it clear to people what would happen if the government couldn't operate. i think people sometimes forget what the government actually does. >> we've got some questions from our panel. >> i want to ask you about that. you understand the power of the bully pulpit and you've worked with presidents. do you think beyond just saying the things you mentioned, that he needs to have a national address to the nation the way he would about national security, economic security or do something else? because we seem to be getting lost in all of the chorus at this point. >> because of the nature of communication, you can't do one speech. you've got to do it every week to ten days or longer in order for it to settle in. >> has it become harder, senator, to do these kinds of deals today than it was when you did your big reform?
has politics become more dysfunctional? >> i think it's much harder today. when i left the senate back in 1997, back in the pale lithic era, i said politics was broken. today it's much more broken now. it makes it much more difficult to make things happen. to give you an example, last summer, gary hart and i, two republicans, bob packwood and jack dan forth balanced the budget. that wasn't a substantive magazine. >> that was for an esquire magazine piece? not just for your own in the summer? that's what senators do. >> it's always fun to do public policy. krystal? >> i was wondering, senator, does it even matter how much the president is able to move public opinion? we already have public opinion very much in favor of a deal, of
a balanced approach, only 26% of republicans even support the republican approach. do they even care about public sentiment? >> at the end of the day, i think what happens is the president simply sends a clean debt limit forward, no spending, moderate spending cuts, and the republicans choose to reject it, well, parks close, airports close. he extends it for a week to two weeks to three weeks if he can get a big deal. if he gets the big deal, then the economy will really be on a path towards real recovery over the long term. >> let me ask you a quick question about s&p and the rating agencies, they've been saying that not just if the debt ceiling doesn't get lifted we get a downgrade which seems obvious and justified. but if there's not a big enough debt reduction deal to their liking, they might also do a downgrade because they don't think we're acting sufficiently ahead of this long-term problem. my own view is for a gang that
pretty much in bed with the subprime mortgage machine and did very well from all that, hasn't paid any price or been held accountable for that. even if their message is right, it's off putting that they're out there saying we may downgrade you if you lift the debt ceiling. >> do you really think they're trying to make up for that failure? >> this could be. who knows? i don't think it's justified if the debt limit is extended. if the debt limit is extended, obviously. >> that's a good point, matt. there is a question of how urgent is the debt crisis? i think there's a strong argument to be made that it's a medium-term problem. jobs are the near-term problem. debt is only 65% of gdp. there are a lot of countries running up 100%. >> we're not greece. we're not insolvent. >> you're right on target. the main issue is job creation. 25 million people in america who
are either underemployed or unemployed. and that's the issue. and the more the president is dragged in to talking about spending cuts for the next six months, that's the other guy's book. >> as a democrat, senator, don't you blame the president for letting the other side set the terms of the political debate? >> no. the debt limit itself, there are certain things precipitated by events. i do think he could do things that would increase jobs. for example, i think he ought to say to any company in america, if you hire additional employees and don't lay anybody off, the government will pay 20% of the cost of that worker. that means there's a great incentive to hire workers and reduce the unemployment rate. you say you're going to cap this at $50 billion, first come, first serve. so as quick as they hire, the first people hiring, the lower the unemployment goes and the more the economy recovers. >> are there elements of a bill bradley benevolent dictator jobs
program you would offer? >> let's start with that one, matt. >> what about the tax reform, ron wyden is invoking what bill bradley has done some years back. talk about the political stuff that has to come together for that to work? >> in order to do fundamental tax reform, lowering rates, eliminating loopholes, are you raising revenue or are you going to be revenue neutral? you need a chairman of the ways and means committee and the chairman of the finance committee that have their political futures at stake and think this will really enhance them. you need to have a president and secretary of treasury, particularly the secretary of treasury that can cut the deal in the room at the end of the day. you need somebody who is a cell lot who will do nothing more than talk about this to drive it forward. >> that's the question i want to ask you, senator. >> the cell lot?
you were against running against the incumbent democratic establishment. you would have never, ever been open to the kind of social security cuts being bandied about? >> i don't think you can have that role played in the current climate. the issue is if you're going to do a big deal and really get the deficit down over the long-term, you can't take social security off the table. you can't take medicare, you can't take defense off the table. all those things have to be on the table as well as taxes. and politicians who try to sell one side or the other side as the answer just aren't leveling with the american people. the numbers don't add up. >> can we get that debate? we have 30 seconds left, can we get that debate without a third force in this country? when you see how both sides seem to be locked into either ideological litmus tests, it bans the common sense expression of the best of these liberal and conservative ideas? we've talked about this before.
do we need something to shake up the current two-party regime. >> something new would shake up the debate. whether it would actually shake up the structure is another issue. >> bill bradley, thank you very much for coming by, sharing your insights and wisdom. thank you to the mega and meta panel, very solve fist kated, ari, krystal, chrystia. up next, china pulls a fast one-on-one of the most successful companies ever.
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the dangerous combination of heat and humidity prompting warnings in 29 states and in wad. power companies are hot under the collar with usage nearing record levels. new york city residents are being asked to turn their air conditioners off, rolling blackouts today in detroit despite temperatures in the 90s. there's more than heated pom politics in washington. the weather channel's chris warren has been braving triple-digit temperatures on the national mall. chris, what's it like down there? >> reporter: matt, it has been hot all day long. temperatures, as cool as they got today, 83 degrees here in washington, d.c. by 9:00 in the morning it was 91. up to triple digits by 1:00 in the afternoon and we have stayed right around 100 degrees, getting up to 102 at reagan. it has been extremely hot here. you can imagine what it's like being a tourist, trying to get in all the sights you want to see in this big town. it can be tough in this heat.
we want to talk with garrett. he's here from iowa traveling with your family. how are you handling the heat? >> it's really hot out so we're not doing so well. >> how have you been dealing with it, what have you been doing to keep cool? >> getting a lot of water. >> and going back to your hotel as well? >> yeah. >> what do you think? you come all the way here from iowa and you end up with this? >> it's funny how when -- just when we're here that it has to break records. >> when are you heading back? >> i don't really remember. a couple of days. we still have two other places to go to. >> where else are you going to go? >> i think two of the -- i forgot. >> you're traveling, having fun. seven total in your group. who is handling the weather the best and who is handling it the
worst do you think? >> well, my sister is handling the worst the most. >> why do you say that? >> she's just -- she just kind of whining and stuff. >> all right. but you say it's tough though, rig right? it's not easy. >> yeah. >> you're doing what you have to do, drinking your water, going back to the air conditioning. matt, it is really difficult out here. you go into somewhere, you go into an establishment and you hear people say, oh, and then they come back out. kind of the same thing, oh, it's a relief and it's the heat. it just comes and goes when you go in and out. you have a short memory when you're inside and get used to the nice air conditioning and go outside. each time it's -- you're like, oh, man, i can't believe it's this hot. absolutely amazing just how hot it is here.
>> i'm impressed with that young man who was trying to avoid implicating his sister in whining until you dragged it out of him in ace journalistic fashion. when i lived in washington, going to museum to museum was the strategy or you would advise tourists on days like this, a way to stay cool most of the time. >> reporter: definitely. that is the best bet. you're right. we are in the town of politics. he was doing a great job of playing the politics. that is for sure. i popped into the museum over here, checked out some of that european art, a nice way to spend 20 minutes and you really, really cool down in a hurry. and you come back outside and you're hot. the only thing you can think of is getting back into the next spot. earlier today we saw a lot of people running before sunrise. we've been out here since about 4:00 in the morning. a lot of people running, even an hour or two after sunrise they were still running. we do not see that anymore. what we do see, a lot of slow-moving tourists. that's exactly what you've got
to do, take it easy and find that ac. >> chris warren, stay cool, get a drink. thanks very much. the question everyone is asking is when is this going to hend? weather channel meteorologist samantha mohr has the answer. >> there is an end in site across the megalopolis. that's the good news. we'll see the cooler air move in. starts to creep in over the course of the weekend on saturday. you won't feel much relief here along the coast, in places like dc, new york city, into boston. wheel start to see the front move into the eastern great lakes. buffalo drops ten degrees on sunday. we start to feel it in new york city, the cooler temperatures, it cools down in boston. that's great news for the folks that like to get out and run there like so many bostonians like to do. by the beginning of the week -- i know your weekend will be over with -- it will start feeling a lot closer to average for this time of year and also less
humidity with the cooler northwesterly winds. the tradeoff will be the storms as the front moves through. we will see thunderstorms in places like binghamton over into pittsburgh, stretching over into d.c. as well. on sun, the big apple, if you're a tourist in town, you'll probably want to carry your umbrella because it will come in handy on sunday as the storms move through. notice how cool it is behind the front. i think it's worth the tradeoff. nasty thunderstorms will be plaguing the midwest over the course of the weekend. on saturday the cross hairs will be on the twin cities. that's where we could see severe thunderstorms, large hail, gusty damaging winds, possibly even a tornado. be watching for that as the system moves to the east, right along that frontal boundary. behind the front, cooling relief. we'll have to watch things carefully as severe weather moves through and improving conditions behind it. >> samantha mohr.
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charities. that's the idea behind the $5 project. get a lot of people to make small donations to local or regional charities. joining me is the $5 project founder and chair, university of arizona professor betsy shower. how did you come up with the idea for this project? >> a few of us believe that people can work together as a community to create something more powerful than we can as individuals. that is our philosophy. i was really impressed when the red cross was able to mobilize people to easily give a small amount of money by texting $10 for haiti relief. people feel like they're making a big difference because they're part of a larger community of givers. that's the premise. in january of this year i contacted friends on facebook to see if they were interested in making my vision a reality. 12 wonderful people responded. we formulated policy and a purpose statement and launched on may 14. the project works by, we have a facebook page on which we
champion a different local or regional charity each month and encourage our friends to donate $5 or more to them through a link that goes directly to each charity. that's how it works. >> how did you decide on $5 as opposed to the $10 you'll hear some people make an appeal for or $20 or more? what was the thinking? >> sometimes people feel that philanthropy is only for the wealthy. we wanted everyone to feel they were a part. even a college student who could give up an expensive cup of coffee or a pint of beer a month to participate. people can give more and they certainly do. for example, imagine if on your birthday you're on facebook, instead of getting a hundred happy birthday messages from friends, you got a hundred messages that said, matt, in honor of your birthday, i just contributed $5. that would be amazing. >> your group, the gurus of the
project pick the charity that will be featured for the next month? how does that work and what are some of the examples of organizations you're going to be focusing on? >> sure. we're in our third month right now. so on our third charity -- by the way, you go back and still donate to these charities if you messed them during their month. our first charity was p.a.l.s.. this organization serves high poverty areas and is a licensed after school and summer program that helps elementary age children of families transitions out of homelessness. the second was one that distributes food for the hungry and able to boast they can feed 15 with your $5 donation. the third charity is called beyond balance which is an equestrian program in new jersey. they provide activities and services for people with special needs, including those with
neurological disorders or autism, helping them improve skills and balance. the upcoming charities, we have them determined a year out, but we just reveal them at the beginning of the month that we're going to champion them so people can sort of anticipate and be excited and inspired on the first day of the month. >> betsy, we'll have to leave it there as we head into the weekend. thanks very much for your good work, for explaining it to our audience. folks can go onto facebook and find out how to get involved and do more. thanks for taking the time today, betsy. >> thank you for your time. we're grateful. >> all right. that does it for us this week. i'm matt miller. it was a joy to bewith you for a couple days. dylan ratigan is back in the chair on monday. i'm see you down the road. and "hardball" starts right now. debt and taxes, let's play some "hardball."